Wednesday, September 11, 2002
MONMOUTH -- As the November election approaches, the Monmouth City Council is making its way through a game of musical chairs while Independence has a chair to spare.
Two council members will seek re-election in Monmouth. Beverly Davis and Patrick Moser's four-year terms are up.
New candidates Ken Lehto, Marc Miller, Steve Milligan and Jamie Rust join Davis and Moser seeking one of five open seats.
Monmouth Mayor Paul Evans' position will also be open. His term ends in November and, due to military duties, he will not be seeking re-election. Larry Dalton, Jack Sloan and Brian Sparks have filed to replace him.
Member resignations have already caused some changes in council makeup. On September 3, the council nominated Lehto to fill a seat vacated by Stan Peterson.
One vacancy still remains. Rena Hoover announced her resignation during a Sept. 3 city council meeting.
Hoover's was a four year position. Although she only served on the council for two and a half years, she said she can remain a positive force as a citizen.
"I want to be involved in the community in a different way," Hoover said.
"Sometimes you can be more convincing as a citizen than as a councilor."
As the time for elections draws near, she encourages voters to make informed decisions.
"Voters need to seek councilors and a mayor who will listen to the people," she said.
According Monmouth's city charter, the council can appoint someone to the position vacated by Hoover.
However, if a person is appointed to a seat before the next biennial election, then he or she must run in that election, City Manager Jeff Hecksel said.
Hoover announced her resignation on the deadline to file names on the ballot. As a result, the appointee will not run in the election, unless he or she has already filed on the ballot.
The council will be accepting applications for the vacancy through Sept. 20. Interviews will be held Sept. 26, and a formal appointment made at the Oct. 1 City Council meeting.
While Monmouth has a heated contest, the council election in Independence has drawn less attention. Mayor John McArdle is running unopposed for re-election, as is Councilor Carrie Larsen.
Marilyn S. Morton is the sole candidate for one council seat. Another open seat remains without a candidate.